What keeps you in the nursing profession? - page 3
I responded to a poll today asking how long have you been a nurse. I struck me that many of the responses were positive in reagrds to nursing as a career choice. I would love to hear why you stay... Read More
Oct 11, '02I started because I wanted to make a difference. I stayed because...there were occasions when I DID make a difference. After 30 years......I'm thinking that maybe I stayed too long at the dance.....Nursing has been good to me...I have done all sorts of things and gone anywhere I chose to go....But it's getting tougher. I've seen alot of changes, and most were actually improvements.....and now........I actually remain enthusiastic most days........I guess I'm tired of running uphill.........WAH WAH WAH
:-) (Long week, longer day!)
Oct 11, '02As a new nursing student, I am VERY pleased to hear some good positive comments about nursing. My friends and I were starting to wonder if we had made mistakes as we hear alot of the negative side of nursing too often. After reading your posts, I KNOW that I am meant to be a nurse and that there will be days that I may regret it, but I am also confident that the good days will far outweigh the bad. Cactus Wren, thanks for the story, it made me cry as well! This is the kind of story I want to be able to share with others...someday! Thanks again for the great topic.
Oct 12, '02O.K. Gardengal,
Your question made me think a lot. because this is a question that sounded deep in my conscience from the very beginnig of my professional development.
There is much to say and I'll try to be brief.
First, I'd like to expain that I'm an argentinean Nurse writing from the city with maximum unemployment rate with no Provincial Nursing Law and a then-year-postpone National Nursing Law's Regulation. Not having our own syndicate we've got the lowest historic salary by convention, so that Nurses are under the line of poverty, whos status is the worst you could imaging for your profession. Further more, certain people DO NOT consider it a 'profession' but a sort of nasty activity some poor fellows do in order to survive.
Besides, for the COLLECTIVE IMAGINATION one is a kind of prisoner purging a crime and must be treated accordingly. So that if you are a sensitive Nurse, you'r prone to feel guilty , desgracefull and paranoiac.
Well, I'd need much more space to explain my thesis but this is neither the place nor the time to do it.
I'll better tell you the other side of the story. "The mystical one", that of holding on my arms a terminal cancer adult patient, with weeping eyes glancing at me while begging me pardon because he is not more able to control his sphincters. Such a commom scene for the terrific nights of dark rooms a corridors of the local public Hospital. And beyond this scene the simple comprehension of our complete loneliness and finiteness reflected on those weeping eyes pushing our heart to its limit and making it undestand the meaning of Eternity.
Next, the sudden realization of the brief but solid lost of worries, ambitions and the arising of happy feelings of lightness and gratefulness toward life, toward our profession.
In other words this strong desire of being, anywhere but there, and anyone but you..... a Nurse.
Oct 13, '02I've only been a nurse for four years. I've worked in long term care the whole time. I'm one of THOSE who felt a 'calling' to go into nursing. Interestingly, I didn't feel it that strongly until I was already past 40. I figure maybe I was supposed to grow up really well first. Maybe I wouldn't have been able to emotionally handle it when I was younger. I don't know. I was a paralegal before going into nursing, and I really liked it, but in 1996 my mother became ill and I had to spend a lot of time at the nursing home. While spending time there, I started feeling this sense that I was supposed to change direction and become a long term care nurse. I could plainly see how overworked the nurses were, and I tried my darnedest to ignore this 'pull', asking myself, 'Girl, what are you thinking?' But it just wouldn't leave me alone - this sense that I was supposed to do this. So I did it. And sometimes now when I get really tired and frustrated, I start having thoughts about going back to being a paralegal. And dammit, it never fails- just when I'm having those thoughts, a patient or family member will come up to me and say something really validating like 'You sure went into the right field; it's so good to see a nurse who really cares,' or 'Thank you so much for being so good to my mother,' or 'You're my angel, honey.' I feel it's God or my spirit guides or whoever slapping me and saying, 'Snap out of it. We never said it would be easy, and we still need you.'
Oct 21, '02I was glad to see the combination of thoughts from the heart and jokes about life, in response to my question about why you stay in nursing. I too joke about winning the Powerball lottery, and would really have fun winning millions. But the reality is that I have a much better chance of paying my bills through nursing.
Work is a given. If we don't work, we don't make money. No money , no food or fun.......So I work. Yes, I too worked at McDonalds in the past, and several other jobs.
My favorite other profession though was music. Although I made good money singing for weddings in college, it was just a part time job...word of mouth business. Some weekends I sang several weddings, some none.....I know that in nursing I can work any time. Part time, full time, agency or a combo. If I need extra money I just work a little more. Sure, I made great money in performing, but in the long run it wasn't as much fun to sing any more when I did it for a job. Rehearsing wasn't much fun any more either. Music is fun for me when I do it on the side. And for those who decide to pursue another profession after being in nursing for a while, and keep their nursing skills and licensure up to date, nursing can be an enjoyable sideline.
As a nurse I've been full time, part time, casual, agency, traveled and assisted family members. For 21 years I have enjoyed my chosen profession of nursing. I always learn, and enjoy expanding my horizons. I've been involved in bedside nursing: med-surg, telemetry, ICU and IV therapy. I've done things from chemo to cardiac and life to death. I take care of the sickest of sick and also like to sit and talk with an elderly person about changes in their lifestyle. (I draw the line at pediatrics though, kids scare me silly. I like them healthy but feel helpless when they're sick) I've been involved in bedside care, research, product evaluation and management. But throughout it all, I am a nurse. Sometimes I just help other nurses to be nurses through teaching or as a manager.
As a musician I am a violinist and a vocalist. Although I initially excelled as a violinist I realized that I preferred vocals. I didn't have to pack up my voice to take it with me. I carried it inside of me and could use it when I chose. It is the same way with nursing. I carry it inside of me. I am able to be a nurse anywhere, anytime......and sometimes when I look back at my work I can see that I have saved lives, helped people live with their problems or helped them as they died and helped their families through the pain. I've helped other nurses do the same...
I am writing this in a nursing forum, so know that you can understand my thoughts. I am a nurse. I am called upon to help my patients (never could get used to that word-clients). I love what I do even though I get frustrated......but when it goes well...my heart sings....as do I.
Oct 22, '02It's the fulfilment at the end of each duty- in knowing that you have done something good to your patients - that somehow in your own little way - through your touch, smile, listening or simply by your presence you have made them feel that they have someone that they could count on, someone who makes their life more bearable, and worth living.
I was not excused from difficult patients - had lots of them - but I see that when I am consistent they are at one time or another hold down the barrier - it simply feels great.
I can't help but feel grateful for a thousand and one reasons that comes to me through moments of realization everytime I give TLC to my patients - that's what keeps me in this profession.
These are people who needs you the most. And we are all lucky to be given the chance to make a difference....
Oct 22, '02I'm not a nurse yet, I'm a CNA, but I love the nursing field because it is a rewarding feeling knowing that some ones life is affected by you, and knowing that some ones life is in your hands. I want to be a nurse until I belong in a nursing home (lol)
Oct 22, '02Why do I stay in this nursing thing? Well, 6. Truck driving don't pay that well. 5. Can't get paid to stay home and drink beer. 4. My Lotto numbers havn't come up yet. 3. Wife likes to shop and then do more shopping 2. Have to get the basic needs. And the Number 1 reason is: I like getting used and abused!!!!!!! Seriously, have been an RN since 1986, LPN before that, CNA before that and a Navy Corpsman, have had lots of good stories and bad. Today, went in to help out, was supposely off. Got called to the DON's office for a "conference" 1 and 1/2 hrs worth of her telling me what everybody else has been saying about me for the last year, need to improve my "team attitude", lots of other stuff and finally not to bother the Admin., etc. Said I wasn't going to get my annual raise. Topped off whole drama by saying: "I really like what you are doing, so, don't change. By the way, can you help me out with this schedule?" Made me come home and have supper at 930pm. Discussion I had with the Admin. was a whole different thing entirely. Maybe trucking ain't looking so bad after ALL!!!!!!!!!!!